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Uttar Pradesh (Hindi: उत्तर प्रदेश, Urdu: اتر پردیش) is the fifth largest and the most populous state in India.With a population of more than 175 million it is larger than all but six countries in the world. The administrative and legislative capital is Lucknow and the judicial capital is Allahabad. Other notable cities include Agra, Aligarh, Ayodhya, Varanasi (Benares) , Gorakhpur, and Kanpur. Neighbouring states are Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. Uttar Pradesh shares a border with Nepal.
In 2000, the Parliament of India carved out the northern part of Uttar Pradesh to form the state of Uttaranchal. Uttar Pradesh covers a large part of the densely populated plains around the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. With 166 million inhabitants, it is not only the most populous state in India but also the most populous subnational entity in the world. Only five countries (the People's Republic of China, India itself, the United States, Indonesia and Brazil) have a higher population than Uttar Pradesh (see List of countries by population). It is also one of the most economically backward states of India and the literacy rate, as is the case with the rest of India, is higher for males than females.
Uttar Pradesh covers the area of the former princely state of Awadh (Oudh) and the British Province of Agra. The Province of Agra was originally the western-most British possession, after they expanded from Bengal, and thus was known as the North-West Province. The North-West Province was renamed the Province of Agra, and merged in 1858 with the Province of Oudh to form the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, known after 1902 as the United Provinces. Two princely states, Rampur and Tehri, were under the authority of the provincial governor. With the advent of Indian independence, the United Provinces was renamed "Uttar Pradesh," ("northern province"). This preserved the commonly used abbreviation U.P. In 2000, the northwestern districts of Uttar Pradesh became the new state of Uttaranchal.
The state comprises the regions of Rohilkhand in the northwest, The Doab, or Brij (Braj) (Braj-bhoomi) in the southwest, Awadh (Oudh) (the historic country of Koshal) in the centre, the northern parts of Bagelkhand & Bundelkhand in the south, and the south-western part of the Bhojpur country, commonly called Purvanchal ("Eastern Province"), in the east.
The languages of the different regions are distinct, and the language of the western parts, called (Khadiboli) is the basis for the official Hindi language, created during the late 19th century. The most commonly spoken language in urban areas is Urdu/Hindi. Regardless of the script used, the language of Lucknow is called Lucknowie Urdu. It is a pure form of literary Urdu used by most Urdu poets. Urdu is one of the two official languages of the state. Other languages are Koshali, Braj (which is more than two thousand years old), Koeli, Bagheli, Bundeli and Bhojpuri. The Bhojpuri ethnic homeland is divided between Nepal in the north, Bihar state in the east and Uttar Pradesh in the west.
The current chief minister of Uttar Pradesh is Mulayam Singh Yadav, one of the leaders of the Samajwadi Party (Socialist Party). The former Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee, represents the constituency of Lucknow.
Divisions and districts
Uttar Pradesh state consists of 70 districts, which are grouped into 17 divisions: Agra, Azamgarh , Allahabad, Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Chitrakoot, Jhansi, Devipatan , Faizabad, Bahraich, Bareilly, Basti , Mirzapur, Moradabad , Meerut, Lucknow, Varanasi, and Saharanpur.
The State of U.P. has made investments over the years in all sectors of Education and has achieved some success. Female literacy situation in Uttar Pradesh is dismal. Only one out of four in the 7+ age group was able to read and write in 1991. This figure go down to 19 per cent for rural areas, 11 per cent for the scheduled castes, 8 per cent for scheduled castes in rural areas, and 8 per cent for the entire rural population in the most educationally backward districts. In terms of more demanding criteria of educational attainment on the completion of primary or secondary education, in Uttar Pradesh, in 1992-93 only 50 percent of literate males and 40 per cent of literate females could complete the cycle of eight years of schooling involved in the primary and middle stages. One other distinguishing feature of Uttar Pradesh education system is the persistence of high level of illiteracy in the younger age group. Within the younger age group, the illiteracy was endemic in rural. In the late 1980s, the incidence of illiteracy in the 10-14 age group was as high as 32 percent for rural males and 61 per cent for rural females, and more than two-thirds of all rural girls in the 12-14 age group never went to school. The problems of education system is exacting. Due to public apathy the school are in disarray, privately run school are functional, but beyond the reach of ordinary people. The State government has taken programmes to make the population totally literate. There are special programmes like World Bank aided DPEP. Steps are being taken with the help of NGOs and other organizations to raise popular participation. At the level of higher education and technical education Uttar Pradesh has 16 general universities, 3 technical universities, one Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur), one Indian Institute of Management (Lucknow), one Indian Institute of Information Technology and large number polytechnics, engineering institutes and industrial training institutes.
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